By Soraya Clarke | IG: @soraya_k_c
“Strive for progress, not perfection.”
The many obstacles I’ve faced in my life inspired me to volunteer. I know what it’s like to be unable to attend school due because of the financial burden; still, this did not deter me. I continued to study from my textbooks. I was one of the least liked people in my class because I was hardly attended school but remained at the top of my class. After my first term of high school, I decided to assist others facing the same difficulties I did, since not everyone can study on their own.
My volunteering efforts presented the opportunity to reinforce what I have learned. Since I began, I’ve been taken part in peer counseling and youth building activities. My experience with these endeavors and my passion for volunteerism led to become a part of a remarkable organization: Shashamane Sunrise.
My journey with Shash began in September 2016. I made my first school visit to the National Baptist Basic School (NBBS). When we arrived, I could hear the sounds of children playing—joy flowed through them and was evident in their voices. We were greeted with smiles from both teachers and students. We then engaged the students in various activities. The children danced, played football, and exercised, and each group was more energetic than the one before. With each visit thereafter, the children’s energy levels boosted as they came to expect to have a fun-filled and fulfilling day with us. Each visit ended with the Shash team distributing school supplies, and the children’s faces brightened when they received the materials.
My most recent school visit was one to remember. Windsor Forest Primary gave us the honour of partaking in their graduation ceremony. We also had the privilege of awarding the top GSAT performers. As we presented the trophies, the feeling of accomplishment filled the room and smiles broadened on the faces of parents and students alike.
The evening ended with a trip to Boston Beach. The waves crashed onto the shore, providing the opportunity for a photo shoot. It was on that trip I learned “When you travel with Shash, always bring swimwear.”
The many adventures we’ve taken as a group have allowed us to bond. Our journey to Kwame Falls in St. Mary remains to be my most precious memory, and I am glad to have experienced it with such an awesome group.
Soraya Clarke is a model, business student, and Shashamane Sunrise Volunteer.